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Fingerprints

10 Jan

It is hard to believe that we are already 10 days into the New Year! I hope and pray that all of you had a wonderful holiday season and an amazing New Year celebration. This year is already off to a busy start for me and I have so many new and exciting things to be thankful for.

A few years ago, I was introduced to a friend who God has used to ignite a love for the art of makeup within me. She is an amazing makeup artist  here in the San Diego area and I have learned so much from her. After many long talks with my mother-in-law, about what I want to do in life and how I was going to move forward as the babies get older, I decided to start looking into make-up artistry schools. After doing research, making phone calls and even talking with others, I found Bellus Academy. I made an appointment to meet with the school director and within minutes, I knew this was the school I wanted to attend.

I went home and talked it over with both my mother in law and my husband. They both could see that I really wanted this and told me that I needed to pursue this. I decided to really pray about it and weigh out all my options. Although the school is only 6 weeks long, for a mom with babies at home and teenagers in middle school, I began to worry about the timing of this all and if I could manage it all while trying to study and learn all I can. After much thought, it came down to this… If not now… WHEN?  So, with that, I called the school and made another appointment; this time with admissions.

At the same time I was making the decision regarding school and my future career path, I was asked by the leader of my Bible study at church, to co-lead a group with her starting the middle of January. Of course, school starts on the 21, just days after the study resumes from Christmas break. I once again found myself in a place of prayer and wanting to make the right decision not only for myself, but my family as well. This was also something I have been wanting to do and was honored to even be considered for such an important role. Although I was very excited about all these things, my heart kept going back to one VERY important role in my life…  The role of…MOM.

For me, school and co-leading a Bible study at a church I love, are both a dream come true, but so is being a Mom to these 4 wonderful girls God has so graciously loaned me. I remember thinking, when I was told I was having another set of twins, that God had to be kidding me. What was he thinking? I knew that he had a sense of humor, but this really took the cake. I was far to old to be starting all over with not one, but two babies… and I was out of practice FOR SURE. At that time, I was unable to see the “bigger” picture and although I saw God’s “fingerprints,” it was not until recently that I saw his “hand print.”

Wether I am going back to school, leading women grow in their personal faith or simply sitting on the floor playing with my girls, God’s fingerprints are all over my life right now. I am able to pursue my personal goals, but still pursue my daughters and be home with them, which is a far bigger pursuit than any of the others.  I am realizing more and more, to seek the “fingerprints” of God rather than the entire hand print. In His time, the hand print will be revealed, but you wont be able to notice the hand print without  seeing the fingerprints first.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

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A “Picture Perfect” DIY Vase

30 Dec

6

A few days before Christmas, I received a text message from my brother-in-law, asking for my help with a gift idea he had for his girlfriend. He basically said that he wanted to make her a vase with pictures. That was pretty much the beginning AND the end of his idea. Great idea, but he didn’t give me much to work with. Typical man for ya 😉

I decided to call my “crafty” sister and get ideas from her. After we spoke, I hopped on Pinterest and started browsing through “pins” for some better ideas of what I needed to do. Everything I saw and read told me to print the pictures on vellum paper and then use modge podge to “glue” the pictures to the vase… PLEASE NOTE… This does NOT work, so to save you hours of frustration, I will do my best to explain in detail what I did… that actually worked.

You will need

WHAT YOU NEED:

– A Vase (I personally like a square-shaped vase, as it makes it much easier to attach the pictures to)

– Pictures (For this I used four 4×6 black and white photos)

– A paper trimmer

-Modge Podge

-Foam paint brushes

NEXT:

1. Trim the pictures (if necessary) to fit the vase.

2. Pour modge podge onto a paper plate and with your foam brush, lightly coat one side of the vase.

3. Place a picture onto the side of the vase you just coated.

4. With the same foam brush, coat the picture with the modge podge until the entire picture and side of the vase are covered.

It should look like this: (If you have never used modge podge before, do not get worried if your picture looks pasty and wet. This is typical until it has dried.)photo 1

5. Let it dry and then repeat the process on each side.

– After each picture has been added and the first layer of modge podge has dried, re-apply another coat or 2. (It is completely at your discretion as to how thin or thick you want the coating to be.)

photo 5

6. Let it dry and then you are DONE.

I was really surprised at how quick and easy it was to make this. Because this was the first time I had tried this, I made it very basic, but now that I know what I am doing, you had better believe I am getting out my Cricut and letting the creative juices flow.

These make for great gifts, home and office decor, even centerpieces for weddings or parties. You can also add water and floating candles for a more intimate look. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

photo 3(Yes, I know these flowers are way to big, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it looks like with red roses! My fav 😉

Again, I am not the best at describing how to do things, so if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them for me. I would love to hear what ideas you all come up with.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

A Mom’s Revenge

20 Dec

Prior to meeting my husband, I was a single mom working full-time. I loved my job but it was not until just recently that I realized how many things I have missed out on with my older twins. I missed school plays, field trips, helping out in the classroom and all the other things that happen in the middle of the day while I was working.

Monday night, Ashlyn told us that her school was having a “bring your parents to lunch” day. Immediately the wheels in my head started spinning. I looked at my husband and said, “Oh we are going!” I wish I could have taken a picture of Ashlyn when I said this, because instinctively she knew this was not going to end well for her. “Mom, please just go and be the cool mom.” With a very devious grin, I nodded and agreed.

I picked up my cell phone and sent a message to my friend Renee, who I remembered recently ran the Vegas half marathon dressed up as Mrs. Clause and her husband as Rudolph. I asked if we use the outfits for Wednesday’s “lunch” and she delightfully said, YES.

If you have teenagers or know a teenager, you realize rather quickly that this stage of their lives is always hard on parents. It seems as if almost overnight, your once sweet little prince or princess, grows horns, an opinion and makes it their personal mission to humiliate you. Mine are no exception. So, when planning my little scheme, I simply wanted to “re-pay” the favor.

I remembered that my step-dad usually dresses up like Santa every Christmas. I sent him a message asking if he, in fact, had a Santa suite. His simple response made my heart jump for joy, “Yes, I do.” I asked if Erik could borrow it, and he said of course. This was getting better and better. Santa and Mrs. Clause making an appearance at Ashlyn and Breanna’s middle school… Pay back at it’s finest.

 On Wednesday morning, I met Erik in the school parking lot with the Santa suit. It took everything I had not to wet myself as I watched him put it on. I was really enjoying this… So, with lunch in tote, Mr. and Mrs. Clause marched into the lunch area at Woodland Park Middle School.

erik santa

Within minutes, teachers, other parents and kids, were laughing and commenting. It is amazing to me how even 12, 13 & 14 year-olds can get totally giddy when they see someone dressed as Santa. With my giant bell wreath, I began to make a bunch of noise and started to search the area for MY kids. I brought a bag of goodies and within seconds, all the treats I made had vanish. Kids were loving this, as was I, and Mr. Clause, but what about my girls….

From the corner of my eye, I spotted them. I began to make my way toward my kids and Erik started to yell, “Ashlyn and Breanna… Ho, Ho, Ho.” It was pure comedy. I had to at least try to get this on video, so I did my best to capture the reaction of the girls, especially Bre, since Ashlyn already knew some of the plan. Although the video is not the best quality, I was able to get the moment Bre started to cry once she realized the large man dressed as Santa and the woman next to him with the loud bells, were her mom and step-dad. It was PRICELESS. (You can see for yourself here)

bre crying

Once the shock wore off, and they realized we brought them lunch from their favorite place, they actually enjoyed what we had done for them. I really wish that I had been given more time to plan, because I would have orchestrated a full on flash mob, to their favorite 1 Direction song, but I think we did a pretty good job!

santa

When they got home from school, I was pleasantly surprised when the girls came in telling me that we were a total hit. Even the Vice Principal made some comments to them about what we did. Kids were telling them how “chill” and “cool” their parents are.  In the end, what I really wanted was for both the girls to have a special memory about that day. Yes, I wanted to embarrass them for all the things they have done to us, but more than anything, I want them to look back at this day when they are older and smile, knowing that we did this for them because they matter to us. (Even if what we did was publicly humiliate them… that’s what counseling is for.)

I am taking advantage of the little things I can do to deposit special memories into the lives of my girls. I was not always able to show up in full costume at 10:20 for “bring your parents to lunch day,” but I can now and that is not something I will waste. Before I know it, they will be grown up and on their own and I know what we do now, will matter then.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

photo 2

The secret I was taking to the grave

15 Nov

Before I proceed with this post, I need to explain what events happened last night that ultimately led me to confess a 25-year old secret to my little sister.

Erik was watching a show called “Total Blackout.” If you have never seen it, it’s a game show in which contestants battle each other and their fears in a series of challenges. All the challenges are played in complete darkness; no lights, no blindfolds and no-holds barred as the players face their fears and unexpected surprises. It is hysterical. In the episode last night, teams confronted MY biggest fear; a bird. Yes, you read that correctly,  I am terrified of birds and seeing those people have to pick up a pigeon and carry it around in the complete dark, made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Well, I had no idea that Cane was laying on the floor near where I was standing. As I went to turn and walk away, I felt something brush up against my foot, and in a “knee-jerk” reaction, I jumped, screamed and then looked down. It was Cane’s paw, but for a split second, I thought it was a bird.

After Erik gained his composure and stopped laughing at me, I explained to him, that this sort of panic happens to me all the time. I hate anything that fly’s near me. If it has wings and they flap… I run, scream like a girl and sometimes get in a fist fight with the air. It sounds funny, but rest assured, on my end, it is anything BUT funny. It is my biggest phobia and I will never confront it.

This “run-in” with Cane’s paw, led to this text message being sent to my sister and a confession that I had every intention of taking with me to the grave.

Growing up, my sister always had strange pets. We didn’t have a dog or cat, like normal families, oh no, we had ducks, geese, rats, grasshoppers and of course… BIRDS. My sister had a blue parakeet, “Buffy, the pretty bird.” This bird was everything BUT pretty, but it loved my sister and vise-versa. She would always let Buffy get out and fly around our house. It was awful. As an over weight teenager, there is nothing like being chased all over the house by a bird, but it happened often. Perhaps this is where my love for running started. I did a lot of it, just trying to protect myself from that thing. My sister would sit back and laugh as I was crying trying to hide. But, I was determined that I would get last laugh.

One afternoon while I was home alone, Buffy got out of her cage and was flying from room to room, probably looking for my brat sister. After 10-15 minutes of this charade, I had a brilliant idea, and I put my plan into motion. I went out to the living room and opened the screen door. I sat there and called for Buffy. Within seconds, she flew into the living room and out the front door! It was glorious to watch as she flew off into the sunset. With part A of “Operation Free Pretty Bird” complete, I had to figure out part B.

When my mom and sister came home I had my story ready for them. I told them that somehow Buffy had gotten out of her age and while I was trying to go outside, she just flew out. My sister was devastated but I knew she would be. I had to keep telling myself that this was all for the “greater good.” Birds need to be out in the wild not cooped up in cages. I did that bird the biggest favor of its life. I was hero and one day my sister would see that. Sadly telling myself this never made it true.

Chrissy decided that she would put Buffy’s cage in the tree on the side of our house. BRILLIANT IDEA, I thought to myself as I watched her climb to the top of that large tree and hang the cage. That bird was so long gone, but hey, it made Chrissy feel better, so more power to her. Day after day, she would climb up that tree and sit, waiting for that bird to come home. Day after day, I would sit and with a devious grin, enjoy a “bird free” life. Total bliss.

Two weeks later, while playing in my bedroom, I heard an all too familiar noise coming from outside. I brushed it off thinking I was obviously hearing things, but the noise kept on. “Buffy the pretty bird… Buffy the pretty bird… Ricky-Ricky Roo Roo.” I stopped dead in my tracks and turned toward the window, afraid of what I might see. Within seconds I heard my sister in the other room yelling at my mom and before I knew it, she was up that tree.

I am not going to lie, I was praying like I have never prayed before. I thought, there is NO way that bird found its way back home. No way! Well, I was very wrong. There was a way, and that darn bird found it. Guess who got the last laugh? That’s right… BUFFY.

I swore I was never going to tell my sister what I had done. That was until last week when I had a conversation with one of my friends about my bird phobia. I was telling her about what I had as a kid and she was cracking up. She told me I had to tell Chrissy that it was far too funny not to. I told her there was no way that was going to happen, but last night something came over me, and I told her the truth.

I want to apologize to my mom for what she went through the days following “Operation Free Pretty Bird.” I know that sis was a wreck and I am sorry. I owe you a round of botox for the stress she put you through as I am sure she added a wrinkle or two. And Chrissy, if you ever read this… Ha, I am not as sorry to you. You were so horrible to me with all those dang animals, especially that bird. I am so happy that as an adult, although you still have strange pets, they are much better than birds.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 8

10 Nov

Day 8- Today  I am thankful for: The important lessons I learn from my kids

I love this child of mine! This was a conversation we had the other night while she was at her dad’s house and as her mom, I can appreciate where her heart was when she wrote it.

School has never come easy to Bre. Ever since she was little, she has had to work harder than most to pass tests, ace quizzes and keep a GPA higher than a 3.0. As a mom, it is never easy to sit back and watch your child struggle. On occasion, I have cried with her as she sat at the kitchen table with her pile of homework so frustrated and ready to give up.

I am very sensitive to this issue and I have always made it a point that Bre knows that I am not AS concerned with the grade itself, as I am the effort put forth into getting the grade. See, I grew up in a house with a father who could not read or write and a sister who had severe dyslexia. I watched both of their struggles and although school and learning came very easy to me, I know that it does not for many. My parents made it very clear that if my sister and I were trying our very best, studying, paying attention in class, doing all that we could, within our ability, that was what mattered. It was a valuable lesson that I have carried into my own parenting.

So last night, we all gathered around the fireplace in our home and with dimmed lights and “Disco Inferno” playing in the background, Bre took each test and or quiz that she felt made her a “failure,” and watched it go up in flames. As we sat there I made it very clear to both my girls that grades do not define success or failure; their attitude and character does. By burning those pieces of paper, she was letting go of what she felt made her dumb and stupid and was going to start over with a new attitude and outlook. She was going to meet with her teachers and come up with ways to help her feel better about taking tests and she was going to give it ALL she’s got.

I love that this lesson is not just for an 8th grader, but for her 35-year-old mom too. So many times, I’ve put my value and worth in what I have on my resume, only to realize later, that is NOT what defines me. My heart, morals and character do.There are so many “things” I fail at, but I cannot let those failures get in the way of what I want to accomplish on this earth. I have to press forward, doing the very best that I can, knowing that mistakes are simply lessons in disguise.

“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.”

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 7

8 Nov

Day 7- Today I am thankful for … God’s sense of humor… and Amazing Grace.

I hopped on my treadmill this evening and did what I always do… Crank up the speed, turned on a message from my favorite, Matt Chandler, and immediately started laughing. The title of the message was “Revenge and Love,” and God knew why I was laughing.

Just this morning I stood in my kitchen pouring my heart out to my sister about a very hard situation I am going through with a person who is causing pain to two very precious people in my life. I was brutally honest with her about how I wanted to go “Dexter style” on this human being. Now, if you don’t know who Dexter is… that is probably a good thing, and please don’t google the show, because you might look at me in a different light after you know…But hear me out. I simply want revenge. I want this person to hurt. I want them to lay in bed at night and ponder the hurtful things they are doing and WHO they are doing them to. I want God to just take them and shake them silly… I want them to suffer. Have you ever been there? Have you ever stood in your kitchen and just cried out for revenge? If you said “No” then you are SO lying 😉

A few days ago, I shared with you why I love my sister and the amazing influence she has had on my life. Well, this morning was no exception. After she “talked me off the ledge” she began to share with me her view on the situation and that my bitterness is only hurting everyone involved, even the ones that I am trying to protect. She reminded me that I am called to be different and that it was not that long ago, when I was the one, needing grace NOT revenge. With each word, my heart began to soften and I started to feel convicted. She was right. If not for God’s amazing grace and second chances, I would NOT be where I am. I am called to love my enemies. Even if the feelings are not there… I have to start somewhere.

All afternoon I ponder her words. I shared my feelings with the Lord and asked that He would soften my heart and let me see this person the way he does. I asked Him to help me and show me what I can do differently. It did not take Him long to answer… “Revenge and Love” came on and that is why I said I am thankful for God’s sense of humor! Here is what Matt had to say (or God through Matt… to my ears)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you maybe sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

“What Jesus has just demanded of his people (remember, this is a superseding righteousness that Christ is creating in our hearts) is that we would love our enemies and pray for them. He even says there is a reward for loving your enemies and praying for your enemies that is not present when you love those who love you. If you love somebody who loves you, there is reciprocity there. Are you tracking me? There is no reward. They love you; you love them. How easy is that? But if you love those who hate you, if you love your enemies, then the reward that is… don’t lose me here… possible is that you might bring peace to where there is strife and you might see an enemy come under the same saving grace you were able to come under.”

Yes, I laughed out loud. Then as he went on, I got mad, I growled and almost spit… then I cried. I got it. I knew that God was showing me something pretty big. I have been so focused on ME, and what I want done to this person, that I have conveniently forgotten what was DONE for ME. I was given grace and forgiveness by a God to whom I was once an enemy. Then I stopped and thought … How can I love this enemy of mine in a way that is good for them, helpful for them, and in the end gives the best opportunity for them to sense, see, and enjoy the grace that has been so richly lavished upon me?

Although I don’t have all the answers to those questions I DO know that the grace I have been given, I did not deserve. And that alone is humbling and makes me stop and say, “Okay God, your grace is AMAZING, I am not, and thanks for having a sense of humor. Appreciate that.”

I have changed my prayer for this person moving forward, but I have asked that God will not just change them, but change ME. That he will transform this revengeful heart to one that loves and see’s the good, just like he did with me.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day’s 2, 3 & 4

5 Nov

I know, I know… I am WAY behind on blogging these ones. Let me tell you that the past few days have been a bit chaotic. On Thursday evening, while talking to my mom, my I-phone decided to commit suicide. Out of nowhere, the black screen of death came on and so for 2 days, I have been without a cell phone. To my own dismay, it has been wonderful, with the exception that my phone holds all my running music, so I had to use Erik’s the past few days for my runs. No biggy. So that leads me to catching up on my “30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge.” I am going to dive right in and get caught up.

Day 2- I am thankful for… “The Apple Store”

As an I-phone  and MAC Book owner, the Apple store is like having a little bit of heaven on earth. Even though they were unable to salvage my other phone, I am the proud new owner of the I-phone 5. I have no idea how it really works, but on our drive home this evening, I plan on finding out.

Day 3- I thankful for… “Running

Running is my sanity. I know it sounds strange, but I am not sure how my life would be if I was not a runner. There is never a bad day, that is so bad, a long sweaty run, cannot make a little better. Some people do not call running a real sport, but until you have run 26.2 miles…. STRAIGHT, no stopping… you don’t understand my sport. I am thankful for the many “traits” this sport has taught me.  I have learned to endure and push through pain. I have learned to be diligent and patient. I have learned self-control and not to give up. I have leaned that pain is temporary BUT quitting is forever. I have learned that I can do something I never thought possible. Running as allowed me to get outside and enjoy God’s creation. It is my sanity, antidepressant, prayer time, mom time and calorie burner…. all in one.

Day 4- Today I am thankful for… “Family Dinners”

Tonight we celebrated my brother in-laws birthday. We gathered around a large, long table and not only enjoyed delicious food, but the company of one another. We laughed as we talked about stories from the past. Smiled as we looked forward to our plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas and made new memories. There is something to be said for “family dinners” they are good for the soul. It seems that whatever avails you, is minimized when you are in the company of family, friends and food.

So, until tomorrow… Find something you have to be thankful for TODAY!

Many Blessings ~ Summer

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 1

2 Nov

This is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love everything about this season. The cooler weather, warmer clothes and shorter days. I love sipping wine by a fire with the smell of pumpkin filling my house. I also love that the month of November holds my favorite holiday; Thanksgiving. (I swear, if I believed in other lives, I would think that I was a pilgrim.) A few years ago, I started a little tradition where each day, starting November 1, I would write one thing I was thankful for. It is usually in the form of a Facebook status or a card to a certain person, but this year I am also going to post it on my blog! Lucky you 🙂 So, here we go:

Day 1: Today  I am thankful for… MY SISTER

Growing up, we could not have been more opposite. She was four years younger than me and quite frankly, I didn’t like her much. She was always dirty and I hated anything dirty. She loved animals, I didn’t. She was very athletic while I was chubby and happy sitting on the couch eating chips and guacamole. We didn’t have much in common and most of the time she was just in the way.

I am not sure at what age or stage of life my feelings toward her changed, but as we got older, I found her less annoying and more fun to be around. She had the ability to make me laugh and I found myself needing her. I somehow went from not liking her… to loving everything about her.

As I sit here and write this, I ponder where my life might be if not for my sister. She has been my rock, my therapist, my comedy relief and the one who has been the source of light when everything around me was black. She has shown me that there is no such thing as Impossible. She has inspired me to push through the pain when I wanted to give up and has loved me when there has not been much to love.

There are not many people who I hold in such high regard, but she has earned that spot. She has earned it by the way she lives her life. I believe that she is a living example of what Christ is like. She has a heart that knows no boundaries. She finds the best in the worst people and goes out of her way to make the people around her feel important and valued. She has not one selfish bone in body and is forgiving to a fault.

I know that I will never be able to show my sister just how much I love and admire her, but I pray that how I live my life and who I am becoming, makes her proud. Proud to call me her sister… because I can say with all that I am, it is an absolute honor to call her mine.

Many Blessings~ Summer

My “Favorite Fall” Recipe

18 Oct

Over the past few weeks, Erik and I have recommitted our lives to being healthy… and not just in the sense of working out but also in nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle, that will not only affect us, but our four daughters as well.

I have become very passionate about learning the philosophy of nutrition and clean-eating. For someone who has struggled all my life with weight and bad eating habits, I was beyond ecstatic to find a nutrition program that allowed me to eat and not feel guilt. I have realized how and WHY I was doing everything wrong in the past. I am so thankful that I no longer “fear food” but embrace meal prepping, eating amazing foods and also incorporating some gnarly workouts that are already transforming my physical body.

So periodically, I will be posting a recipe that is easy to make, falls under the nutritional guidelines of clean-eating and one I personally love.

Right now my favorite is: Homemade Baked Sweet Potato Fries.  I am addicted! They are great to pack in your purse when you are on the go, eat with lunch and dinner… or have as a sweet treat in the evening without feeling guilty. Love. Love. Love! So, here is how you make them.

~Ingredients~

– 3 to 4 sweet potatoes peeled
– 1/4 cup light olive oil (I use Trader Joe’s Grapeseed Oil)
– 1/2 teaspoon paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
~Directions~

– Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
– Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick matchsticks
– In a plastic ziplock bag, toss the potatoes with the oil, kosher salt, paprika and cinnamon.
– Toss until all potatoes are covered in with the ingredients

– Spray a baking pan with cooking spray
– Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking pan and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until you feel they are crispy enough (I recommend turning them every 10 minutes, so each side is evenly cooked)

Let cool, serve and ENJOY! Easie Peasie. Delicious and Healthy… it is a win-win for everyone. Oh and your house will smell like all the greatness that is FALL.

Many Blessings ~Summer

Back to Reality

15 Oct

It feels like FOREVER since I actually took the time to sit and write. What a crazy few weeks it has been, but now that I am settling back into “reality” I plan to jump back on the “blogging bandwagon” and write. YEA!!!!

So I survived our Hawaii trip. I am not going to lie… I am happy to be home. Who knew that a destination wedding could be so stressful? And I wasn’t even the bride. 🙂 ;From the moment we arrived, it was go, go.. GO. The days were jammed packed full of pre-wedding and family fun. And as stressful and chaotic as it was, everything turned out amazing!

When we got in on Thursday, Erik and I were able to go to Dukes restaurant, the spot he proposed two years earlier and reminisce. We both laughed as we thought of that evening and how much life has changed since. I was able to snap a few pictures of the spot he got down on one knee and kissed his “Man-Card” GOODBYE!!!

The Wedding was BEAUTIFUL. I don’t remember much of it, because I spent most of the day running around like a chicken without a head, but hey, that is what pictures are for! My mother-in-law, was simply amazing! If I had known how great she was at wedding planning, I would have put her to work when I was planning mine. She was so organized and calm… I was a hot mess for the both of us, but I cleaned up well. (Thank goodness makeup and a cute dress can hide ANXIETY) ;

Kaare was a stunning bride! I have no idea how she remained so calm and relaxed but it was clear she inherited that trait from her mother! She was glowing. I remember when she first met her groom and how excited and happy she was. It has been so fun to be apart of this journey with her and watch as she and Doug have grown in their love. I was defiantly honored to stand next to her on her special day!

The ceremony was intimate and sweet. I loved the vows that they wrote for one another, and have to admit (only because there is a picture of it, so someone has proof) I totally cried when Doug recited his vows to Kaare. They were detailed and heart felt. I guess because I love words, when I hear some that move me, I cant help but appreciate them. Doug, if you ever read this… you did a great job and I personally think you should type them out and frame them for Kaare, so she can read them everyday and HOLD YOU TO THEM:)

So when all was said and done, even with the heat, stress and chaos, it was all worth it. Spending time with Erik’s amazing family and meeting Doug and his family, is something I will always treasure.

And I loved that I got to walk down the aisle with my “groom” again!

I wish Doug and Kaare a lifetime of joy and pray they never forget their special day, a day they CHOOSE to love each other, forsaking all others.

With that, I will finish this post and go fold some laundry so my husbands thinks I actually did something today 😉

Until my next rambling (which wont take me WEEKS to write)… Many Blessings ~Summer

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